24 frets makes a pretty huge difference, not so much because of the two extra notes but the 21st and 22nd frets feel much more comfortable. It makes leads in that register much easier to play, especially fast John Petrucci type stuff.
@Brigantium , where did your post go?The first tour dates are February, and going by a few things Bruce has said fairly recently about his recovery and his voice, Maiden's pre-tour rehearsals could still be a few months away.
I just read something from Dave re British Lion, which I'm going to put in the Dave thread because it's more about him.
Edit: ignore that last bit, looks like the magazine was quoting Steve, not Dave.
I had the same question... Seriously, this Classic Rock interview is fantastic, the best stuff have read in ages about Maiden. A must read. Thanks a lot for mentionning it Brigantium.
Yea that's what I mean. Those extra two frets aren't necessary, but having them there makes it easier to play in that register. Plus it finishes off the octave, instead of missing two notes.
Those extra notes can come in handy though. Check the solo at the end of Octavarium by Dream Theater for A good example.
24 fret guitars move neck pickup position further to the bridge. Sound is different. In last few years I've started messing with more 70's like leads, esp. slow Pink Floyd type, and my last guitar purchase was consciously 22 fret. All other electric guitars I've owned in last 15 years were 24 frets.